'Thank you for giving us hope'
The parents of a five-year-old boy with a terminal brain tumour say the massive fundraising effort by the community is giving them hope and faith in humanity.
Liam Andrew, of Beacon Heights, Newark, has a rare cancerous tumour called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
The tumour is in an area that controls the body’s most vital functions, such as breathing, blood pressure and heart rate.
It is highly aggressive and difficult to treat.
Surgery is not a viable option because of the danger of operating in such a critical area of the brain.
Liam’s parents, Stuart Andrew and Amanda Ferguson, have been told there is no cure and the only treatment on the NHS is radiotherapy, which shrinks the size of the tumour before it comes back again.
“It hurts like hell but no matter what we are not going to give up,” Amanda said.
An appeal to raise £½m was started by Liam’s cousin, Mrs Laura Fearnley, and her husband, Liam, along with her mother, Mrs Tracy Ferguson, as soon as the diagnosis was known so that money could be available for any treatments that might help Liam.
Amanda said the fundraising was helping.
“There is so much positivity around us, it is really giving us hope,” she said.
“If we were trying to do this alone we would have been broken. But there are so many people giving positive vibes and hope, we can’t be moping around.
“So much is being done and we really appreciate it. We can’t put it into words. So many people have been so generous and even those who have never met Liam are showing their support for him.”
Stuart said it was was not just the money being raised, but the time and effort that so many people were putting into helping.
“They have given us faith in humanity,” he said.
The couple say that they are still getting over the shock but know they have to go on.
“He needs us to fight for him,” they said.
Liam has started daily radiotherapy at Nottingham City Hospital, which will continue until July 2.
Once it has finished they will wait a month before another MRI scan is taken to see if the tumour has shrunk.
“We have been told that it inevitably comes back within a year,” said Amanda.
Liam is also taking part in a new clinical trial — Biological Medicine for Diffuse Instrinsic Pontine Glioma Eradication (BIOMEDE) that will continue for up to 18 months and could possibly stop the growth of the tumour.